Author Under House Arrest

Chinese authorities target an ethnic Mongolian writer ahead of the release of a prominent activist.
2010-11-18
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Xinna, wife of Inner Mongolian activist Hada, speaks to the media, April 15, 2009.
Xinna, wife of Inner Mongolian activist Hada, speaks to the media, April 15, 2009.
AFP

Chinese authorities in Inner Mongolia are holding an ethnic Mongolian dissident writer under house arrest ahead of the release from prison of the head of a Mongolian democratic movement.

Govruud Huuchinhuu, an ethnic Mongolian dissident writer, activist and member of the Southern Mongolian Democratic Alliance (SMDA), was detained by Horchin district police in the city of Tongliao Nov. 11.

Huuchinhuu had been working to rally and organize Mongols in welcoming Hada, a prominent ethnic Mongolian political prisoner who is expected to be freed on Dec. 10 after completing a 15-year jail term for subversion.

"I asked them if they had a warrant to arrest me and they said they didn't," Huuchinhuu said in a recent interview.

"I asked them to go into an Internet cafe so I could inform my friends and relatives about what had happened to me, otherwise they would be very worried at my sudden disappearance. They wouldn't let me go."

She said that no formal proceedings took place when they arrived at the police station, however.

"No one from the public security department has given me any formal notification or discussed with me why they did this."

However, Huuchinhuu said she thought her detention could be linked to to the forthcoming release of Hada, a Mongolian writer who is also chairman of the banned SDMA.

"I wrote on my blog that I planned to go and visit him, to meet him on his release," she said.

"They probably detained me under house arrest ahead of time, for fear that I would spread the news around."

According to the New York-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC), Huuchinhuu is unlikely to regain her freedom until after Hada's release on Dec. 10.

Mongolian activist

Govruud Huuchinhuu was detained by police in the city of Tongliao on Nov. 11, 2010. RFA
Govruud Huuchinhuu was detained by police in the city of Tongliao on Nov. 11, 2010. RFA RFA
A former activist in the 1981 Mongolian student movement, Huuchinhuu is an active member of the SMDA, an ethnic Mongolian organization that seeks greater autonomy from Chinese rule and the protection of Mongolian culture, language and identity.

Chinese authorities launched a crackdown on the SMDA in 1995, sending its leader Hada to jail for 15 years.

Huuchinhuu has written two books dealing with the problems faced by China's ethnic Mongolians, and hundreds of political essays.

Both of her books, The Stone-hearted Tree and Silent Stone, were recently banned by the Chinese authorities and withdrawn from bookstores.

Huuchinhuu is also a keen advocate of press freedom, helping to run a number of online Mongolian discussion forums, all of which have now been shut down for posting "separatist content" and "discussing ethnic problems."

In August 2007, Huuchinhuu was barred from overseas travel for five years, as a “possible threat to the national interest and state security of China.”

Huuchinhuu had applied for a passport for a planned visit to the independent country of Mongolia.

Reported in Mandarin by Tang Qiwei and in Cantonese by Pan Jiaqing. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.

CH. 1: MANDARIN | CANTONESE

CH. 2: VIETNAMESE | BURMESE | KOREAN

CH. 3: KHMER | LAO | UYGHUR

CH. 4: TIBETAN

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